Returning from a Land Down Under


What is the market like back home?

Given the huge popularity and obvious attractions of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth for Ireland based professional, there has been a serge over the last 10 years of recently qualified accountants to build on their local experience. We spoke to two who have recently returned from down under and asked what they enjoyed and will miss most.

Kate completed her ACA finals in 2003 in the Audit teams of one of the Big 4 and landed in Sydney after 3 months of travel seeking her first role in Industry

“The biggest unknown for me was that although I had focussed on large Multinationals within my Audit days, I wasn’t sure how quickly I would get a job as I hadn’t worked in industry at all. I was delighted on arrival that it took a matter of days before I was interviewing and each of the companies I met seemed an attractive proposition”.

In terms of Kate’s learning experiences “I worked for a major FMCG group with APAC responsibility and to be honest I hadn’t even heard of some of the locations I was responsible for! However, I picked it up pretty quickly and landed on my feet with a great employer. I think having the Big 4 background was useful as my boss had come through a similar route in Sydney and we shared common views in many areas”

How has life been since returning home “I was in Sydney and worked with the same company for 2 years and loved every minute. The reason for returning home was more family than career based but I was aware that the market had improved during the time I was away”.

And finding a job returning home “I decided not to do anything until I arrived back. I wanted to really enjoy a few months of travelling on the way home. On arrival I met up with a few former colleagues and got a good sense of what areas were thriving. I have taken up a role as a Finance Manager overseeing a team of 4 with a large Distribution organisation – without question the skills and experience I picked up in Sydney have been of huge benefit. We are even looking to export to Asia now, something I know a lot more about now! From a lifestyle perspective of course I miss Sydney but Dublin is really buzzing at the moment and my rent is a lot cheaper than what I was paying in Darlinghurst!”

Jonathan is a qualified ACCA accountant through industry and along with his partner, decided they would like to travel in 2012. “Having gained 2-3 years of post-qualification experience in Cork with a major Tech organisation, I was hopeful that I could enhance my career while enjoying a lifestyle in a different city. I started to apply for a few roles where I felt I had sector relevant experience and took time to write a decent cover letter. In most cases I got an encouraging response that I would be welcome to meet when ‘on the ground’ in Melbourne, which gave us the confidence to up sticks and get on the plane.”

“When we got there we found it pretty straight forward to get set up with a decent apartment and we both found decent Recruiters who were helpful in offering advice in what we were looking for. One thing I found useful was that I made a conscious effort to chat to a few folks I knew who had lived in Melbourne and knew their way around and nice areas to live. Within a month I was offered what was initially a 9-month contract for a Senior Financial Accountant with a medium sized domestic software company.”

In terms of fitting in to his new lifestyle and job “We both loved Melbourne immediately – there is a cracking café culture and it’s a big sports hub with lots to do. My team who I worked with had really high standards and worked very hard Monday to Thursday, often into the evening during busy periods but it gave me a great sense of satisfaction that I could perform and thrive in such an environment and I learned a lot. I was offered a permanent role and sponsorship a few months in which I took as a good sign and promoted into a leadership role”.

“The decision to leave wasn’t taken lightly but having been away for 3 Christmas’s, we had a chat and agreed our home is in Cork. We have no regrets in coming back and while we would love to return to Melbourne someday, it’s a long trip there. I kept in contact with a former colleague while away and had a few options on returning home and there is plenty going on here”.

If you are returning from outside of Ireland and keen to discuss the local marketplace, please share your CV with Paul McClatchie, Director, Engage People

[email protected]

+353 87 656 8710.